June 23, 2006

Gita IV...Ultimate Reality

The Gita does not give any arguments in support of its metaphysical position. The Upanishads affirm the reality of a Supreme Brahman, one without a second, without attributes or determinations, who is identical with deepest self of man. Spiritual experience centres around a sovereign unity which overcomes the duality between the known and the unknowing. The inability to conceptualise and experience leads to such description as identity, pure and simple. Brahman, the subsistent simplicity is its own object in an intuition which is its very being. It is a pure subject whose existence cannot be ejected into external or objective world.

Brahman cannot be described. Silence can be the only way to it. One of the Upanishad says: “Where everything indeed has become the self itself, whom and by what should one think? By what should he be known, the universal knower?” The duality between knowing and knowable is characteristic only then discursive thought is transcended. The eternal one is so infinitely real that we dare not even give It the name of One since oneness is an idea derived from worldly experience. We speak of It as the non-dual, advaita, that which is known when all dualities are resolved in the Supreme Identity. According to Bhagavad-Gita, The supreme is said to be “unmanifest, unthinkable and unchanging.” “Neither existent nor non-existent.” Contradictory products are attributed to indicate the inapplicability of empirical determinations. “It does move yet it moves. It is far away yet it is near.” The twofold nature of the supreme as being and as becoming has been brought out by these predicates. He is para or transcendent and apara or immanent, both inside and outside the world.

The Supreme is that “from which these beings are born, that by which they live and that into which, while departing, they enter.” According to the Vedas “He is the God who is on fire, in water, who pervades the entire universe; He who is in plants, in trees, to Him we make our obeisance again and again.” “Who would have exerted, who would have lived, if this Supreme bliss had not been in the heaven?” “He, who is one and without any colour, by the manifold wielding of His power, ordains many colours with a concealed purpose and into whom, in the beginning and the end, the universe dissolves, He is the GOD. May he endow us with an understanding which leads to good actions.

June 13, 2006

Gita III...Different Schools of Thought

According to Ramanujan (11th century AD) Gita is a type of personal mysticism, God dwells in the secret places of the human soul, but He is unrecognised by it so long as the soul does not acquire the redeeming knowledge. Only by serving God with our whole heart and soul we can acquire this knowledge. The wretchedness of sin, the deep longing for the divine, the intense feeling of trust and faith in God’s all conquering love, only all these can take us to the ultimate knowledge.

Madhav (1199 to 1276 AD) advocates’ dualistic (dwaita) philosophy from his interpretation of Gita .According to him, it is self-contradictory to look upon soul as identical with the supreme in one sense and different from him in another. The two must be regarded as eternally different from each other. He holds the opinion that we must give up the distinction between “mine” and “thine” and hold that everything is subject to the control of God.

Nimbaka (AD 1162) adopts the theory of dwaitaadwaita (dual-non-dual doctrine). He holds that the soul, the world and God are different from each other; yet the existence and activity of the soul and the world depend
on the will of God.

Vallabh (AD 1479) develops what is called sudhadwaita or pure non-dualism. The ego when pure and unblinded by illusion and the Supreme Brahman are one. Souls are particles of God like sparks of fire and they cannot acquire the knowledge necessary for obtaining release except by the grace of Supreme. Devotion to God means release. Bhakti is truth associated with love.

There are many schools of thought. The Hindu tradition believes that the different views are complementary not contradictory.

As one very popular verse declares: “from the view-point of body, I am thy servant, from the view-point of ego, I am a portion of theory, from the view-point of the self, I am thyself. This is my conviction.”

God is experienced as Thou or I according to the plane in conscious centres.

June 10, 2006

Gita II.....Conflicting beliefs into single unity

It was Krishna's intention not to proclaim any transcendent dogma of salvation but to render Arjuna to undertake the special services of the almighty, will of the God who decides the fate of the battles.

In true Hindu spirit, many conflicting beliefs have been worked into a single unity, that is, to find the Ultimate Truth. The entire world of manifestations and multiplicity is not real in itself but seems to be so for those who live in ignorance. Only the wisdom that the Universal reality and the individual self are identical can bring us redemption. After this realisation, the ego dissolves; the wandering ceases and we find perfect joy and blessedness.

Karma is essential as a means of purification of the mind. And when wisdom is attained, Karma falls away.

Brahman, the highest reality, is spirit but not without attributes (as held by one stream of thought). He has self consciousness with knowledge of Himself and a conscious will to create the world and bestow salvation on His creations. He is infinite and eternal. God is both the instrumental and the material cause of the world.

God is the supporting, controlling principle of the soul, even as the soul is supporting principle of the body. God and soul are one. God is the inner guide who dwells deep within the soul and as such is the principle of its life. Immanence, however, is not identity.

June 03, 2006

Gita I... Eternal and Imperishable

Gita has something eternal and imperishable, applicable to all ages and all countries. The intellectual expressions and psychological idiom are the products of time while the permanent truths are capable of being lived and seen by a higher than intellectual vision at all times. Gita contains ancient wisdom which is as relevant today as it was then. It will be just relevant as to the end of time if there is any.

This great scripture has living value as it is a restatement of the truths of the eternity in the accents of our present times.

Gita is the journey within us seeking the way to be one with GOD. It provides light with its wisdom and reinforces renewal of spiritual life. It shows us the meaning and value of existence, the essence of eternal values and the path in which the ultimate mysteries are illuminated by the light of the reason and moral intuition.

There has to be balance between mind and the spirit so as to keep the material world one. Gita is ethics and metaphysics, science of reality and art of union with that very reality. Rigorous discipline is necessary to comprehend fully the truths of the spirit. In order to acquire spiritual wisdom, we need to cleanse our mind of all distraction and purge the heart from all corruption.

Renewal of life is can only happen with knowledge of truth. Outer desire and inner quality can never be divided because by doing so we violate the integrity of human life. These two orders of reality, empirical and transcendent are closely interwoven.

The biggest question is how can we live in the highest self and yet continue to work in this world? We find answers in Gita with new emphasis. It gives us vision of truth, impressive and profound, opens up new avenues for the mind of man, it accepts assumptions which are part of tradition of the past generations and embedded in the language it employs. The different elements which had been competing within Hindu system have been brought together and integrated into a comprehensive synthesis, free and large, subtle and profound.

Krishna, as the teacher, amalgates the different currents of thoughts, the Vedic cult of sacrifice, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad theism and tender piety, the Sankhya dualism and the Yoga meditation. He brings all these elements into organic unity, shows us how different lines of thought converge towards the same end.

June 02, 2006


The intrinsic relation of sciences to humanities is one of the means to ends. The concept of right and wrong ,the study of the ideas centering round these concepts...on these the action and happiness of humanity depends. A balanced culture should bring about the sciences and humanities into harmony.

For this purpose, Gita is a valuable aid for understanding of the supreme ends of life. It teaches us the permanent truths, gives us intellectual vision, tells us about the ancient wisdom of the scripture.